A FEMINIST’S HONEYMOON: ELIZABETH CADY STANTON’S WEDDING JOURNEY.
Elizabeth Cady married Henry Stanton on Friday, May 10, 1840.
Friday is commonly supposed to be a most unlucky day. But as we lived together, without more than the usual matrimonial friction, for nearly half a century and had seven children…no one need be afraid of going through the ceremony on Friday.
A difficult arose when Elizabeth wanted the clergyman to leave out the word obey in the vows. I obstinately refused to obey one with whom I supposed I was entering into an equal relation. The clergyman reluctantly conceded the point, but revenged himself by praying and sermonizing for an hour.
The honeymoon trip took the couple to England, where they planned to attend the World Anti-slavery Convention. On board ship, Elizabeth was told to tone down. She asked what she had done wrong. Her critic answered: I heard you call your husband ‘Henry’ in the presence of strangers, which is not permissible in polite society. You should always say ‘Mr. Stanton.’
As the journey took 18 days, she had time to make some improvement to her speech, or, at least, to consider all friendly suggestions.
On arrival in London, she found their lodging house the gloomiest abode I had ever seen, but the arrival of a delegation of ladies, the next day, from Boston and Philadelphia, changed the atmosphere.
To her disappointment Elizabeth found that the delegates were split over the question whether women should be allowed to speak and vote at the convention. To me there was no question so important as the emancipation of women from the dogmas of the past -- political, religious, and social. It struck me as very remarkable that abolitionists, who felt so keenly the wrongs of the slave, should be so oblivious to the equal wrongs of their own mothers, wives, and sisters, when, according to the common law, both classes occupied a similar legal status.
(Source: Stanton, Eighty Years And More, New York 1898)
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